From Fermoy to Clonakilty, Lidl Ireland’s Cork customers donated items in their droves to make up more than 10,000 meals through FoodCloud’s Food for Ireland nationwide in-store food donation appeal in the retailer’s 163 stores across the country. Earlier this month, Lidl joined three other major Irish retailers in supporting FoodCloud’s new food initiative to help meet the unprecedented demand on FoodCloud’s services from charities and communities across Ireland affected by COVID-19.

In recognition of the generosity of Lidl customers, the retailer will make an additional donation of €50,000 in retail value of essential food items that are currently in demand to the Food For Ireland appeal, meaning more than 30,000 meals will be donated to FoodCloud by Lidl and their customers.

In recent months, FoodCloud has seen a huge increase in demand for its food redistribution services and through research carried out among 121 of FoodCloud’s charity partners, a 70% increase in demand for food was identified as a result of COVID-19.

Commenting on the food donation appeal, J.P. Scally, CEO, Lidl Ireland said:

At Lidl, we are committed to leading social change and to help the more vulnerable members of our communities during this difficult time. A huge thank you to our loyal customers across the country who donated to this very worthy cause.

Further commenting on the appeal, Iseult Ward, CEO, FoodCloud said”

We would like to thank Lidl and their customers for supporting Food for Ireland – the first national food appeal. Everybody wants to see a comprehensive recovery after COVID-19, and the support we provide now to the people who need it will be essential in helping that to happen. If we can help people from ending up in desperate situations, they will bounce back faster. It is in the national interest.

The donations from Lidl and their customers are set to help provide FoodCloud’s network of charity partners with access to long-life ambient products which can then be used to build and distribute food parcels to those who are vulnerable or cocooning during this challenging time.

In addition to this, Lidl employees across the retailer’s network of stores, regional distribution centres and offices have committed to more than 220 volunteer hours to help FoodCloud sort items that have come into their hub through the Food for Ireland donation appeal. An additional number of Lidl volunteers have also been working with the retailer’s supplier, Meade Potato Company to help glean additional harvest for FoodCloud. Through gleaning, Lidl volunteers have been busy collecting leftover crops from Meade’s fields after they have been harvested resulting in reduced food waste. These crops are then sent to FoodCloud’s hub and are distributed to various charities across the country.

Following the success of the Food for Ireland initiative, Lidl’s next food donation appeal is currently in planning with FoodCloud and the retailer will be appealing to the demonstrated generosity of their customers in the lead up to Christmas.

Since the partnership was established in 2016, Lidl has redistributed the equivalent of 2,172,288 meals to local communities, supporting food redistribution from both stores and regional distribution centres to more than 300 charities across Ireland.

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